Ambient noise can ruin an otherwise great recording. The first step in removing noise from your recording is well...keeping it from getting there in the first place. Despite your best efforts, you'll probably end up with some ambient noise. In this video you'll learn how to use the noise removal tool in Camtasia 8 to remove computer fans, A/C and other stray sounds.
- [Voiceover] Let's talk about removing unwanted noise from your audio track. Unwanted background noise can really ruin a project. Now, the best way to keep unwanted noise out of your project is of course to not let it get there in the first place. Computer fans, mini fridges, heating and air conditioning, traffic, all of these things add to the unwanted noise being picked up by your microphone. So eliminate as many of these sounds as possible before you even start recording.
For example, right now I have my mini fridge turned off so the fan doesn't kick on during my recording. Unfortunately, my studio is kind of near the furnace room so I've turned off the furnace which doesn't make my wife very happy when I forget to turn it back on. And well no one else is home, there's no traffic or lawn mowers running around my house. There's a Woodpecker outside that keeps randomly attacking a tree but there's not much I can do about that. It's about as good as it's going to get. And frankly it's not always like this.
Sometimes there's just noise to deal with. Assuming you've done all you can to remove noise before it's introduced to your project, let's look at some ways to remove it. Alright so let's start with recording room tone. Now on movie sets, they often record a minute or so of room tone. Basically this is just recording the sounds of the room when everyone is being as quiet as they possibly can. One of the reasons for this is so that later the audio engineer can use that room tone as a reference and remove it from the final track using special software.
Well guess what? Camtasia has some of that special software. It's called Noise Removal of all things. If you can tell Camtasia what noise you don't want to hear it does a pretty decent job of removing it. So when you push record it's a good idea to let it run for five to ten seconds without any noise other than the room tone. Just be as quiet as you can. It'll come in very handy when it comes time to edit. Okay so let's give a noise removal a try in this project.
Before I do this I want to point out that noise removal works per clip. If you remove noise from one clip it doesn't automatically translate to the others. So if you want to do all your clips at once you can either start the noise removal before you start cutting up your clips or if you already have the separate clips like I do here you can highlight them. That's assuming the noise in them in the same or at least very similar. I'm going to work one one clip at a time. Let's start with removing noise loud fan clip here. I'm going to go to the Audio tab.
Now this clip here is me holding my microphone up to my computer fan. It's very annoying and loud and probably a lot louder than it normally would be but I want to demonstrate here. Let's bump up the volume to 500 percent so we can hear it. (computer fan). Alright now that's pretty annoying. That would sound terrible in my track. So let's see if we can get rid of it. We're going to go up here and if this is not already open the noise removal you can just do the twirl down.
And I'm going to select Enable Noise Removal. Let's start with the Audio Noise Train. We're going to click this and Camtasia is going to try to figure out what the noise is and remove it. Let's see how it did. (quiet air blowing). Now actually that wasn't too bad. And actually it can do a better job if we turn this up to 100 instead of 50. Let's see what happened now. (extended silence). Now that did a pretty good job and you may be saying "Jee, why don't I just use 100 percent sensitivity on every single track?" Sometimes that will work but sometimes it'll start to remove to some of your vocals as well if the frequency is similar.
So what you're going to want to do is play around with that everywhere from 10 percent sensitivity to 100 until you get as much noise removed as possible without effecting your vocals. Let's try the manual noise training and see what we get. I'm going to make a selection here and I'm going to intentionally do over five seconds so you can see what happens here. I'm going to do manual noise training on selection. And Camtasia tells me "you know what, we only need less than five seconds, back it up a bit". And I'm going to say "okay, Camtasia".
Back it up under five seconds, let's do the manual noise training again. Camtasia listens to the noise and says "okay that's noise, lets get rid of it". I'm going to back this down to 50 percent so we can have something to play with here. Let's see how Camtasia did. (inaudible noise). Not bad! Now let's move it all the way to up 100. (silence). I don't hear any noise it may be there if I crank up my speakers but that's pretty good.
Okay now in this case the auto noise and the manual noise were very similar. But we did not try those with vocals, that's where the real key difference is. So let's jump over here to my other track and give it a try on a more realistic scenario. Now this is just a regular recording track, my room is a quiet as I could get it, but there's still a little bit of noise there. Let's give it a listen. I'm going to crank it up. (inaudible). Little bit of noise, pretty good.
I record in a pretty quiet environment. I don't know if you would even hear that were it not for cranking it up to 500 percent. So it may not be necessary but let's see if we can get rid of it completely. Alright so my track is selected, I'm going to choose an area here of just noise. Now I heard a little click or a lip smack or something in there so I don't want to select that. That's something I'm going to remove in a different way. I'm going to select just noise + enable noise removal and let's go ahead, I'm going to use the manual because I know this is just noise.
Manual noise training + select and let's see how Camtasia did. Let's bump up the noise here. (inaudible). Pretty good. Let's turn it up all the way to 100 and see what we get. (inaudible). Sounds real good. Aside from that little click there I don't hear any noise at all. Certainly not anything you would hear once you were speaking over the noise. Now the real question is, did it harm my vocals any by removing some of the frequencies of the noise from my vocals? Sometimes the noise frequency will be the same as your voice and it'll make your voice sound funny.
For example, sometimes you'll have bugs in the background of your recording especially if it's like an outdoor one which doesn't usually happen with Camtasia. But I've seen that applied, or rather I've done it myself, and it removes the Cicadas quiet well but then your voice sounds kind of weird and thin and tannie. So let's see how things went here. We have 100 percent, let's see how my voice sounds. Let's take a look at removing unwanted noise from your audio track. Alright sounds good. I don't hear a difference but let's try it without the noise removal just to see if it had an affect.
Let's take a look at removing unwanted noise from your audio track. And one more time with the noise removal. Let's take a look at removing unwanted noise from your audio track. Alright in this instance we can get away with removing 100 percent of the noise and I don't think it affects our track at all. But that's not always the case. If you find noise removal is adversely affecting your vocals, you're going to have to back off the slider there a bit until you find that happy spot where as much noise as possible is being removed but it's not hurting your vocals.
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